I had always thought the Amish shunned all powered tools, they don't have cars or electricity in homes, have visited Amish areas of PA. Then went to the Carriage plant and saw all the Amish folks working there. Guess I just don't get where they draw the line.
Bill, there are Amish machine shops, one of which is ENE of Topeka IN. When I was Inter-company Purchasing Manager for Starcraft, I had a PA in our Listowell ON plant who forgot to order a bin full of stainless steel U-bolts for the springs to be attached to the axle of the pop-top campers to be built in 13 weeks. It was a 16 week lead item during the Viet Nam conflict.
After contacting every machine shop known that could handle that large a job, I called in Steve Hire, my crew leader, who managed the warehouse and made emergency weekend runs for me. I asked him "What do the Amish do when they need u-bolts for the springs on their buggies?" He said he's find out -and headed for the assembly lines. There were at least 60 horse pulled buggies in our parking lot. Steve came back and said, "There's an Amish machine shop ENE of town!" Out we headed in his pickup.
On our way we saw various3 & 4 horse Clydesdale teams plowing the deep black loam of the IN soil. We arrived at the machine shop which was all hydraulic with a pay phone across the dirt road. Out back was the key to the operation: a gravity fed diesel engine that via a long shaft operated via belt brake presses, lathes, air compressor, anything needing powered motion. Belts worked the shafts & pumps. Amazing! They made buggie frames and parts, wheel rims, farm equipment and u-bolts. And everything was hand assembled. The cost was only 300% more per piece. So, instead of $2.50 it cost us $10.00 each spring, $20.00 not $5.00 per unit. And they delivered in 10 weeks. We did not have to close the plant for 3 weeks. The Canadians breathed a sigh of relief, my boss was very pleased and my team's reputation for doing the impossible in a limited time was enhanced.
The key for the Amish, as I was told by the shop owner, is that gravity did the work driving the belts that pushed or pulled. Nature was doing all the work. No electricity was used in making anything.
I'm sure if one was walking a back road in Amish country or checked in Shipshewana, someone would tell you how to find one if you wanted to visit it.